Expert opinion round-up: How can we secure the future of the North Sea?

At Renown Oil and Gas we regularly report on Oil and Gas industry news, particularly when it concerns the North Sea. Often our industry research will lead us onto interesting insights from industry experts which, for this month, we thought we would share with our customers.

Read below to find three of the most interesting opinions based upon the topic of, How can we secure the future of the North Sea?

1. “Tax breaks are key to a viable future for the North Sea”
By Mark Thomas, Senior Editor, Editor and Publisher Magazine

Mark identifies that despite the occasionally fractious relationship between the upstream industry in Britain and the government when it comes to fiscal stability, policies, and ‘windfall’ taxes, there is a growing recognition that the country’s political leadership has lately understood the need to take a pro-active role in helping the UK North Sea sector secure its future. He comments, “Sometimes we all have to stand back and admit that – however painful it might be for some – Governments do occasionally get it right.”

A key example of this proactive role has been the decision by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to give consent to Norway’s Statoil to undertake one of the largest developments to ever take place in the UK. This development only being possible following the relationship formed between the UK government and Statoil, and the application of targeted tax breaks.

Mark comments, “it is a proactive approach like this that will make the difference between a mature region enjoying a healthy and productive long life, or suffering a long and rather painful death.”
Read Mark’s full blog here >>

2. “What does the future hold for the North Sea?”
Martin Tidbury, Oil and Gas Recruiter, Machtech

Martin suggests that the future of the North Sea is in the hands of technology. He explains that oil fields discovered in the 70’s which were deemed too difficult and expensive at the time to drill are being re-discovered by companies as they are able to utilise new technologies. He also comments that as it stands, “there is currently more oil in the North Sea than has already been produced with the only problem being getting it out the ground”.

Technological leaps are seeing companies in the UK and Norway create new systems to increase the life of our North Sea fields so we can ensure we get everything possible from a field before its gone. By 2015 we will see the first installation of a Subsea Gas Compression facility by Aker Solutions which will increase the life of the project an estimated 20-25 years.

Martin claims that Northern North Sea fields will be key to maintaining the North Sea as the European hub of oil and gas along with skilled engineers continuing the advances of technology.
Read Martin’s full blog here>>

3. “UK Skills Shortage and the Oil and Gas Industry”
Chris Fahey, Oil and Gas writer, Outsauce.

Chris identifies the much discussed issue of the skills shortage within the UK oil and gas industry and looks upon the causes and potential solutions. At present Aberdeen requires 120,000 recruits to maximize the opportunities still presented by North Sea Oil and although recruiters are striving to source the best available talent, “they can sometimes face an uphill battle”

Chris expresses that the UK is not renowned for being a cheap place to do business. Windfall taxes skim profits from the oil & gas companies, while high rates of personal taxes and a relatively high cost of living make the oil & gas industry less attractive to skilled British nationals. He suggests that climate may have something to do with it, but the fact is that oil & gas industry professionals often receive a warmer welcome abroad.
Read Chris’ full blog here>>

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